I’ve mentioned before about the contradiction I have for myself in setting high standards to achieve whilst simultaneously believing I do not have the ability to achieve them- a mindset which constantly makes me feel inadequate.
I mention this to explain why it has been a little while since I posted anything on this blog or really why I haven’t sat down to even attempt to write. After only a few posts, I felt disheartened that it seemed that there was little interest in what I had written, I had also been trying to begin illustrations to accompany my posts inspired by individuals on Instagram such as Rubyetc, Bethdrawsthings and the artist David Shringley; the problem with this however, is that I have no artistic talent whatsoever and my attempts to put some of my ideas to paper were fairly disastrous and thus, in frustration of these two factors combined, I scrapped the whole blogging idea. In my head, I had set this standard of writing which would be popular at least to some degree, and cartoon-esque illustrations that might make some people laugh even though I continually told myself (and strongly believe) that I have no talent whatsoever and therefore achieving a readership or even having someone interested in my mindless ramble was a laughable dream.
I reflect upon this all now, after just posting again for the first time in a while, following a lecture I had which discussed the role of self-efficacy in behavior. Put simply, low self-efficacy (belief) leads to low expectations when taking part in activities, high anxiety about taking part in them and the eventual giving up after a short time which then leads to lack of development and a confirmation that you can’t do anything and you are useless. This is a cycle I realized I was caught up in, except chucked in was an unrealistic goal. Not only does this apply to blog writing, but really a variety of hobbies I’ve attempted to take up over the past including the guitar and swimming as well as within education, pressuring myself to achieve all A* grades whilst simultaneously believing I am unintelligent. It’s a vicious cycle and one that I think I’ve always been aware of at some level but never really felt the motivation to challenge- so here goes. Maybe it doesn’t matter if I don’t become a world-renowned blogger, maybe it doesn’t matter if my attempts at drawing will never grace the public eye; maybe I need to focus on doing things for myself rather than for the response I set myself because after five random and sporadic blog posts, of course I won’t have thousands of followers and even after five hundred blog posts I probably still won’t and that’s okay. It’s okay to do things for fun and not put pressure on yourself to succeed, not tell yourself you can’t succeed anyway so there’s no point in doing it. It’s okay to not get the highest grades, because an A is still an incredible achievement, even without the star next to it.
I hope I maintain this mindset, I hope I keep writing when I want to, not feeling pressure to post everyday but simultaneously not deciding not to write something because people might not read it. I hope I learn to respect my grades (although as I’m receiving my grades from my first set of university exams tomorrow, I say this with trepidation). I hope I can learn to believe in myself, and I hope if anyone who does read this notices a similar behavioral pattern- then you do too.